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Greenville philanthropists receive Distinguished Service Award


GREENVILLE, Pa.—Thiel College President Susan Traverso, Ph.D., awarded John ’71 and Nancy (Gibson) Hauser ’75 the Louis and Barbara Thiel Distinguished Service Award during today’s Founders’ Day celebration.

In her inaugural year, Traverso has emphasized a commitment to student success and institutional vitality. In her introductory speech, she commended the Hausers and the staff and faculty awardees for displaying these qualities for more than 40 years.

“If you ask any of our alumni about their experience at Thiel College, you will hear common themes,” Traverso said. “Community, friendships and family are the words used to describe our campus, and they are exemplified in John and Nancy Hauser.”

State Representative Mark Longietti (D-Mercer County) presented the Hausers with a citation from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. A representative from the office of state Senator Michele Brooks (R-50th District) was on hand to express congratulations as well.

John Hauser graduated from Thiel in 1971 with a degree in psychology. As a student, he joined the Phi Theta Phi fraternity and continues to participate in fraternity events to this day. He has had a lengthy career in higher education, including many years of service on Thiel College’s administration. In his retirement, he continues as the College’s archivist.

Nancy (Gibson) Hauser graduated from Thiel College with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and history. Retired after 35 years as an elementary teacher in the Ohio Beaver Local School District, she is an advocate for the College and its students. She continues lasting friendships with the faculty, administration, Board of Trustees, students and staff, and maintains close fellowship with Chi Omega—the sorority she joined at Thiel. She is also an energetic participant in the life of her church, the First Presbyterian Church of Youngstown, Ohio, where she serves on the board of deacons and the mission interpretation committee.

The couple married on June 4, 2011 and live in Greenville, Pa.

The Hausers are committed philanthropists, giving their time and resources to many organizations that serve Greenville and the region. They both actively participate in the Thiel community, attend and support Thiel College events, and have been influential in the life of the institution’s alumni network.

The Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to individuals who demonstrate exemplary character, continuity of leadership, and long-term service to Greenville and the surrounding area. The recipients must demonstrate a commitment to the common good above private interests. The award is named after Louis and Barbara Thiel, whose generosity made the founding of Thiel College possible in 1866.

“John and Nancy Hauser are shining examples of Thiel alumni fulfilling the College’s mission and doing service in the world,” Vice President for College Advancement Roberta Leonard said. “As an institution, we are blessed to have the Hausers as engaged and active members of the Thiel family.”

About Founders’ Day

Thiel College holds its annual Founders’ Day celebration on the first Thursday of February. The first official Founders’ Day was held on Feb. 2, 1876 – the birthday of Barbara Thiel. As part of the celebration, selected staff and faculty were also recognized for their contributions.

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About Thiel College

Thiel College is an independent college founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 24 varsity sports, and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio. The College is also home to a Master of Science in speech-language pathology, a Leadership Master of Business Administration and a Management Master of Business Administration. Both master’s degree programs offer innovative and accelerated five-year paths which allow students to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years. The speech-language pathology program also has an accelerated 15-month graduate-level program. The M.B.A. program also has a 12-month post-graduate program. A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College remains committed to combining tradition with innovation.

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